Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up
Article 14 Does Not Forbid Reasonable Classification For The Purposes Of Legislation [Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation V. Danish Khan]
The Supreme Court upheld a compassionate appointment regulation of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation which barred dependents of a deceased employee from claiming compassionate appointment in case of death of an employee while travelling in the vehicle of the Corporation. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that observed that though Article 14 of the Constitution of India forbids class legislation, it does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation.
Specific Relief- Mere Extension Of Time For Deposit Will Not Absolve Plaintiff Of Obligation To Prove Readiness & Willingness [Ravi Setia vs Madan Lal and others]
The Supreme Court held that mere extension of time for deposit of balance sale consideration will not absolve the plaintiff of obligation to prove readiness and willingness to perform his part in an agreement for sale. The grant of extension of time cannot ipso facto be construed as otherwise demonstrating readiness and willingness on part of the plaintiff, observed the bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee.
Purchaser Of Goods For Commercial Purpose Is A Consumer If He Uses It Himself For Earning His Livelihood [Sunil Kohli vs. M/s. Purearth Infrastructure Ltd.]
The Supreme Court reiterated that if the commercial use of goods is by the purchaser himself for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self-employment, such purchaser of goods is a "consumer'". The bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah was considering an appeal against the order of National Consumer Commission which dismissed a complaint on the ground of maintainability.
Rights Of Victim & Society At Large Not Subservient To Rights Of Accused
[Fainul Khan vs. State of Jharkhand]
The Supreme Court, observed that the rights of the victim and the society at large cannot be made subservient to the rights of an accused. The bench of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice BR Gavai was addressing the contention raised on behalf of the accused that proper opportunity to defend was denied under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as the incriminating questions put to them were extremely casual and perfunctory in barely two pages. It was contended that all relevant questions with regard to the accusations were not put to the accused.
Child Has Right To The Affection Of Both His Parents
[Anuj Chaturvedi V. Jyoti]
A child has a right to the affection of both his parents, the Supreme Court remarked while considering a special leave petition filed by a father. Though it refused to interfere with the family court order granting custody of the child to the mother, the bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Surya Kant directed the Family Court to ensure that visitation rights are fixed in such a manner that the child gets to know and love his father.
Other significant Orders and Proceedings
- Set up a Constitution Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Ravindra Bhat to settle the conflicting interpretations given to Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.
- In M/S EXL Careers vs. Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd, the bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose reference whether after a plaint is returned in terms of Order VII Rule 10 and Rule 10A, Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), should the trial in the Court where the plaint is now filed start de novo or from such stage at which the plaint was ordered to be returned? after it noticed apparent conflict between the judgment in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.v. Modern Construction and Joginder Tuli vs. S. L. Bhatia.
- It is unfortunate that at the Supreme Court level counsel cite judgments which have been overruled, remarked the Supreme Court recently while disposing of an appeal. The bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta made this observation in Raj Kumar vs. State of UP when the counsel cited various judgments to support the contention he raised on behalf of the accused that when there is a marginal variation from the standards prescribed, the courts should give benefit of doubt to the accused.
- The special vacation bench of the Supreme Court ordered status quo on felling of trees in Aarey colony in Mumbai suburbs till further orders. This was after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra Government, undertook that no further trees will be cut and that the legality of the tree felling which already took place can be decided by the environment bench after the Dusshera vacation.
- The bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Subhash Reddy issued notice in a special leave petition filed against a Madras High Court order. The Court is set to examine the question whether High Court has jurisdiction to transfer the proceedings for enquiry into the complaint of sexual harassment and investigation in FIR to another State?